News

Ruby Bolster, Longtime Community Volunteer, Dies

Ruby Skoog Bolster, a longtime activist in the City of Falls Church, passed away on November 23, 2010, after a brief hospital stay at the age of 86.
Ruby was born and raised in Minneapolis. At the request of a friend, she went on a blind date with Mel Bolster, and within six months they were married. Soon after the wedding he took a position at the State Department, they moved to the Washington, D.C. area and then to the City of Falls Church in 1958. Her work career included the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, Federal Water Council and DeVol Funeral Home.

Ruby and Mel shared a love for their family combined with a love of history and community engagement. Ruby found her place in Falls Church through the many organizations where she volunteered her time and energy. She started her civic involvement with the League of Women Voters, became the newsletter editor and then treasurer. She and her long time friend Mildred Pope and others worked together to preserve and restore the Cherry Hill Farm House and helped to create the non-profit group the Friends of Cherry Hill.

When the historic Lawton House was threatened with destruction, she and her husband Mel were amongst a half dozen that organized the force of the citizenry to help save the property. That movement became the core of the re-founding of the Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS) in 1965.

In addition to the above organizations, she has continued active membership in the American Scandinavian Society and Drott Lodge, The Falls Church Presbyterian Church, Mary Styles Library Book Club, Falls Church Garden Club, Celebration Center for Spiritual Living, Antique Arts, the Victorian Society, City of Falls Church Historical Commission and Historical Commission liaison to the Library Board, and the Citizens for a Better City. In 2005 Ruby and Mel were recognized and honored by VPIS with the “Spirit of Falls Church Award” for their lifetime of commitment to the improvement of the fabric of the community.

She is predeceased by her husband Dr. Mel Bolster (2005) and her son Mark who died in 1972 at the age of 17 in an automobile accident. She is survived by family including her daughter Dr. Laurie Bolster (and Lyn Iannazzo), of Falls Church and Jeff Bolster (and Terri) and two grandchildren Victor and Hannah of Manassas. The memorial service and interment will be planned for spring of 2011.

A gathering of friends and family of Ruby Bolster will be held on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Cherry Hill Farm House (312 Park Ave) in Falls Church to get together, share memories and talk.